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How an Accidental DBA Could be Harming Your Business


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Accidents happen, we all know this. But what happens when those accidents are happening within your business as the result of conditions you’ve accepted or possibly even put in place? And an even more terrifying thought: What if no one is aware they’re happening, even the one committing them? That’s the threat of the Accidental DBA.

The really scary part is, you and your Accidental DBA are likely unaware of the mistakes being made along the way. So the outcome of small mistakes may not become apparent until things have gone really, really wrong. Because, as the saying goes: You don’t know what you don’t know. And not knowing can end badly for your business if you’re living with an Accidental DBA. It’s truly the stuff of CIO nightmares.

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How an Accidental DBA Could be Harming Your Business

  1. 1. SETUP & CONFIGURATION ERRORS SPOTTY SECURITY OVERLOOKED MAINTENANCE NO DISASTER RECOVERY PLAN UNFOCUSED MONITORING Accidental DBAs don’t have the knowledge base to fully optimize databases from the start, and frequently don’t know how to configure a production database so that it will perform properly. While your databases may appear to run normally at the onset despite these oversights, they will inevitably compromise your databases’ performance over the long term. Well designed indexes and statistics are critical for database performance. Accidental DBAs may work with developers and users to fix the immediate problem, but have no concept as to whether changes negatively impact other processes or are sustainable. This lack of expertise for troubleshooting and performance tuning can lead to more problems down the road. Many Accidental DBAs fail to closely monitor databases, either due to lack of time, understanding or the necessary tools, so instead of being proactive, they’re stuck being reactive. When a problem occurs, they may resort to Band-Aid fixes like rebooting the server which can lead to corruption, lost data, headaches, and ultimately does nothing to address the underlying root cause of the problem. Accidental DBAs oftentimes don’t understand security or don’t consider it a top priority They may rely on third-party tools that require a certain level of security, but these tools require a proper oversight and management or they may become a hole for hackers. They also may not consider permissions when assigning and defining roles which can lead to more gaps in security. THE SECRET TO A GOOD CIOs need a DBA resource that has the proper expertise, the knowledge base to cover both strategic and tactical tasks, and the ability to remain dedicated and focused on your database management needs on a daily basis. A managed service provider can give you the peace of mind of a full-time DBA at a fraction of the expense with a full team of experts. UP AT NIGHT CI NIGHT’S SLEEPNIGHT’S SLEEP WHY THE ACCIDENTAL DBA IS KEEPING THE If you’re getting by with “good enough” database management, perhaps using an IT team member who may not have the time to focus on your databases because of other, more strategic (or pressing) responsibilities, you’ve likely been making do with an Accidental DBA. But the problem with an Accidental DBA is they don’t know what they don’t know, which can spell disaster for your databases in truly terrifying ways. An Accidental DBA is unlikely to have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place and often doesn’t even understand how backups should be configured. Without backups, if there’s a problem, losing your data may be the least of your worries. The resulting downtime could leave your company standing idle, unable to complete the most basic of functions from accounting to sales to deliveries. The potential catastrophe cannot be overstated.